Barefoot at 14 to writing a book

2015-09-22 06:00
Ivan Koopman, sitting left, with his brother Gerald Koopman next to him, celebrates the launch of his book. Standing from left is brother Vaudin Hoffman, wife Phillida, Pastor Andries Plaatjies (MC) and son Andre Koopman.

PHOTO: 
gary van dyk

Ivan Koopman, sitting left, with his brother Gerald Koopman next to him, celebrates the launch of his book. Standing from left is brother Vaudin Hoffman, wife Phillida, Pastor Andries Plaatjies (MC) and son Andre Koopman. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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The journey from a backyard shack in Hanover Park to positive empowerment starts with that first mile you walk to your dreams.

That is the story in Many Miles - a Life Story by Bellville resident Ivan Koopman who launched his debut book at the Huguenot Library in Belhar recently.

Currently a lifeskills and youth development facilitator for a programme at Learning Cape Initiative Koopman’s journey started when he had to leave school at 14 to work as tea boy and general cleaner at the Post Office to eventually becoming the medical manager at a major construction site in Dubai.

“Leaving school at that age was heartbreaking,” he said at the launch.

“But, it had to be done for the survival of our family and I somehow knew that it would not be the end for me because I had faith in God’s plans for me.

“I walked in my bare feet along the main road to Cape Town going into shops to ask for work because it was needed. People thought I was joking but I had to do it.”

Koopman added that while the book was a celebration of his triumph he also wanted it to be an inspiration to people who may have come from similar situations, or who may still be in such situations, to never give up on their dreams.

“You must always believe that through God’s love for you there is a positive plan for you and you must believe in that plan for you.

“This book is also there to motivate our youth who are in situations where they are surrounded by so much negativity,”says Koopman.

“The answer to your empowerment is there but you must be prepared to do the groundwork, the hard work and have the patience to know that the end result is going to be your ultimate victory.”

Before working as the medical manager in Dubai, Koopman worked at the Metro Ambulance Service from 1981 to 1998 and then at St John Ambulance.

Contact Ivan on 083 777 6580 or email ivan@ivankoopman.co.za.

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